Daily Features

JULY 26, 2013: END OF THE DINOSAUR–THE LAST DAYS OF THE BIG AMERICAN ROAD BEASTS

By on July 26, 2013
july13-boatimgp1781-001

july13-boatimgp1781-001

 

The other day I saw a set of wheels from a bygone Jurassic Car era.

 

Cars used to be large and in charge in the old days, in fact they were bigger than most pickup trucks in days of yore.

 

Cars came in three sizes: compact, intermediate and comes-with-a-tug-boat to park it.

 

july13-boatmy star imgp0523-001

 

These days the big trucks are the kings of the road and many new trucks even outweigh the biggest of old car beasts. But there was a time when dinosaurs ruled the highways and they were giant cars with names like Cadillac, Lincoln and Imperial.

 

Sure you can still find a Lincoln or Caddy badge on today’s giants, but they are now trucks. When exactly did the big cars fade to black in the automotive scene? Actually It was a slow process that started long before WWII and ended in the 21st century with the Ford Crown Vickies.

 

july13-boatimgp8530-001

 

The golden era of the big cars was the late 50s and 60s when large and in charge was the order of the day. People measured their status by the Cadillac scale which defined the status of wealthy old guys and successful criminals. Throw in an Elvis or two and you get the picture: big Caddy equals the picture of wealth and success on the Cadillac scale.

 

july13-boatimgp9432-001

 

Greedy and successful TV banker Milburn Drysdale owned an Imperial to define his success. He used a chauffeur to drive him around in his Impy and the combination did not seem like an exaggeration at the time. In fact we did a real life story about an actual banker-owned Imperial from the Drysdale era and apparently this banker did have a driver for his car.

 

july13-boatimgp2984-001

 

Eventually we reached the 70s and the era of the giant car was nearing its sunset years. High gas prices and a dwindling market for the big iron were realities in the Me Decade. The new consumer was a younger driver in a smaller car in the 70s.

 

“Smaller car” was a very relative term in the 70s because the new consumer still chose big cars with long hoods and short decks. It is a fact the new smaller car choices in the 70s were still bigger than most of the reasons not to attend a Sister Sledge concert in the 70s and these cars would be giants on today’s roads.

 

july13-boatimgp0989-001

 

The choice of the younger car buyers was sportier two door hardtops that still had acres of sheet metal and really cramped rear seats that would severely challenge a first string Cirque Du Soleil performer for difficulty of entry and exit.

 

july13-boataimgp1947-002

 

The age of the really giant car began to wind down in the 80s and eventually Cadillac was one of the last holdouts in this department. The Caddy held on to its classic 70s large-barge look until well into the 80s, presumably until they lost their niche market of old guys who leave the blinkers on head to the big freeway in the sky-still driving 10-20 under the speed limit the whole way.

 

july13-boatimgp1669-001

 

Despite that stereotype, I still like to see these big boys from Detroit’s past at the car shows.

 

They remind me of a time when big car dreams were the stuff of songs and legend.

 

Jim Sutherland

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Pinterest

print

29446 Total Views 1 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

oct11-styleimgp9632-1

OCTOBER 23, 2011: DETROIT STYLE FROM THE PAST-WHEN GOOD LOOKS CAN REALLY KILL

  The bygone era of Detroit included many very stylish rides.   This fact is one of the big reasons that old iron has such incredible curb appeal in...

October 23, 2011 View more...

OCTOBER 7, 2010: 1964 CHEVROLET TWO DOOR SEDAN-NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S CAR

Back in the 1960s there were typically two types of buyers for these less glamorous bare bones 2-door sedans-grandparents and drag racers.   Grandparents liked them because they were...

October 7, 2010 View more...

DECEMBER 14, 2017: FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR AUCTIONS

  Car auctions have become a TV hit thanks to extensive coverage over the last twenty years so auctions have been turned into show business.   They are run...

December 14, 2009 View more...
_imgp4660

OCTOBER 1, 2009 SCARY RIDES FRANKEN-FORD: A 1952 FORD MONSTER THAT CAME TO LIFE IN 3 MONTHS

  Leo Heidt is one of those guys who is very handy with the tools.   He also is very familiar with a welder because that was his job...

October 1, 2009 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

ADVERTISE YOUR NEW PRODUCT HERE

  This is a prime piece of advertising real estate because it’s parked in the most dynamic car hobby e-zine in Canada. Go to this contact form and get...

December 7, 2018 View more...

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...

MARCH 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  MARCH 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS   MARCH 1-3: DETROIT, MI Autorama     MARCH 2: EDMONTON, AB Michener-Allen Automotive Auction   MARCH 8-10: CHICAGO, IL World of...

September 25, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

MSCC MARCH 27 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—IT STARTS WITH A TAILLIGHT AND ENDS WITH A GRILL

  Today’s “What’s It?” Wednesday clue is a little different angle on the taillight but it’s still a good clue.   If you add this second clue—the grill and half a headlight—the two should add up to a pretty solid guess.     Look for the answer below on Thursday.     By: Jerry Sutherland See More

THE LIFTOFF AND CRASH LANDING OF THE FIRST-GEN OLDMOBILE F-85

  The Olds F-85 debuted in time for the 1961 model year in North America.   Its name was likely an offshoot of the jet age when domestic car manufacturers liked to attach supersonic names to their products.   The first generation Olds F-85 was smallish by Detroit car standards at the time and labeled See More

(PART 3) TIME TO SING AND REJOICE…….MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR IS NOW 10 YEARS OLD

   Overall, it’s been a lovely cruise for MyStarCollectorCar during the past 10 years and we learned plenty along the way.   One of the lessons that comes to mind is the race has been a marathon and not a sprint for us at MSCC.     We were not exactly an overnight sensation because See More

(PART 2) TIME TO SING AND REJOICE…….MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR IS NOW 10 YEARS OLD

  Part 1 of this article described the early adventures that occurred when we decided to create our own website/e-zine dedicated to the vintage vehicle hobby.   One of the minefields that we encountered early in the game was our tragically stupid decision to treat the website like a monthly magazine where everything would remain See More

Editor’s Picks

MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR MARCH 2019 ROAD WARRIORS—SPRING STARTS THIS MONTH SO THE STREET BECKONS

  This month is when Spring officially begins so the street beckons for the classic iron—depending on where you live because the seasonal change varies depending on where you...

March 23, 2019 View more...

RUST VALLEY RESTORERS—MORE DOCUDRAMA AND LESS EDUCATIONAL

  Full disclosure here—I want to be an impartial judge on this show but Jim and I were going by the White Post Auto Museum in Tappen, BC a...

January 27, 2019 View more...

NOVEMBER 23, 2018 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE QUESTIONS WITH EG AUCTION’S TODD SCHWINDT

  EG Auctions has been a player in the western Canadian car hobby for years and they’ve grown to the point where they have expanded into the U.S. market....

November 22, 2018 View more...

EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS Edmonton Collector Car Auction April 5-7

  Edmonton Collector Car Auction April 5-7 Feature car 1971 Cuda 383 Shaker 4-Speed time to consign call today 888 296 0528   13th ANNUAL RED DEER COLLECTOR CAR...

May 31, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ST ALBERT’S ROCK’N AUGUST

  St. Albert Rock’n August is one of the premiere events of the summer car show in Canada.   This is a massive event and it takes place over...

March 12, 2019
JULY 27, 2019 20th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

MICHENER-ALLEN AUCTIONS FEATURE: 1968 FIREBIRD 400 AT THE 20th ANNUAL COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION JULY 27, 2019     The best way to celebrate the 51st birthday of a classic...

June 19, 2017
EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 13th ANNUAL RED DEER COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION AND SPEED SHOW

EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 13th ANNUAL RED DEER COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION AND SPEED SHOW   TIME TO CONSIGN 1888 296 0528 EXT 102 FRIDAY DOORS OPEN 5PM – AUCTION...

April 21, 2017
MARCH 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  MARCH 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS   MARCH 1-3: DETROIT, MI Autorama     MARCH 2: EDMONTON, AB Michener-Allen Automotive Auction   MARCH 8-10: CHICAGO, IL World of...

September 25, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive